Tag: MAGICAL

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details

Jenny has always loved Harry Potter, and she and Brianna wanted to incorporate this love into their special day.

Their wedding took place in Jackson, Missouri, with the magical decor featuring nods to owls, the sorting hat, horcruxes, and the like.

From the looks on their faces, it was clear the two had cast a spell over each other.

What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?

Enjoy your time being engaged and planning your wedding. Don’t get caught up in the small stressors. Most of the last minute things you think will be a major issue most likely won’t be noticed. Don’t skip out on having your dream wedding in fear of vendors or friends/ family not being supportive. You may just be surprised!

What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?

While planning I felt there was always a need to explain to vendors up front that I was contacting them regarding a service for a lesbian wedding. It did make inquiring and planning more stressful.

Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?

The area where we live isn’t always LGBTQ+ friendly. We had ZERO issues while planning our wedding and felt much love and support from our vendors, family and friends! We had so many loving and supportive people to share in our magical day with us.

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Magical Harry Potter wedding with gold details | Fox Lane Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Search our directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.

FEATURED VENDORS
Venue: Deerfield Lodge in Cape Girardeau, MO

Photographer: Fox Lane Photography,

Florist: Shay’s Bouquets

DJ: Juicebox Entertainment

Invitations: Wedding Idea Shop, Etsy; Tie the Knot Print Shop, Etsy

Attire for Partner 1: David’s Bridal

Attire for Partner 2: Banana Republic

Attendant Attire: David’s Bridal, Men’s Wearhouse

Caterer: Las Brisas Authentic Mexican Restaurant

Photobooth: Semo Selfie and Sound

Magical Mermicorns Sparkle in Fin-tastic New Early Reader Series

Magical Mermicorns Sparkle in Fin-tastic New Early Reader Series

A mermicorn is half mermaid and half unicorn—and the mermicorns in a new early reader series by a genderqueer author just might bring a little sparkle into young readers’ lives.

Mermicorn Island

The first book in the series, Search for the Sparkle, by Jason June and illustrated by Lisa Manuzak Wiley (Scholastic), centers on Lucky the mermicorn, a peppy fellow who lives in an undersea world of magic but has yet to find his “sparkle,” his special magic. When he finds a treasure chest full of glittery seashells, with a message to “Share the sparkle,” he wonders if that could be the key to finding his talent. Throw in three undersea friends, oceans of sea-related puns (things are “mer-mazing,” “fin-credible,” and “fin-tastic”), and a hunt for Poseidon’s magical trident, and you have a fun and joyful story just perfect for readers stepping into early chapter books.

The second book, Narwhal Adventure, continues the story of Lucky and the gang as Lucky helps his friend Ruby enter a special baking competition. Their new friend Nelia the Narwhal wants to help, too. An accident with a magic seashell might lead to disaster, however, unless the three of them and their friends can find a clever solution.

On first glance, there’s nothing overtly LGBTQ in these books, although the sparkly aesthetic conveys a definite flamboyant queer vibe. And Lucky, who likes to draw and appreciates when his mane has “just the right swirl,” feels at the very least somewhat gender creative. Jason June describes himself on his website as “a genderqueer writer mermaid,” so that vibe seems deliberate. His author biography at the end of these books notes, too, that when he “finally gets that mermaid tail, he hopes it’s covered in pink scales”—a subtle but positive message about gender creativity and the colors we wear. The third book in the series, Too Many Dolphins, promises more queer inclusion and will feature gay dolphin dads. It and a fourth book are due out later this year.

Early reader titles rarely get the recognition of either picture books or middle grade ones. Jason June brings a verve to these stories, however, that makes them a delight to read. Readers LGBTQ and not will also appreciate the series’ messages of finding oneself and supporting one’s friends. (And I’m going to add this series to the other LGBTQ-inclusive kids’ books that I think would make great television shows.) Maybe I’m just a sucker for fish puns, or maybe I feel the need to immerse myself in an upbeat, magical world right now—but if you or your kids feel the same, check them out. There are very, very few LGBTQ-inclusive early reader books, and these not only help fill that gap, but do so with fun and whimsy.

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur

Dani and Kaelee’s engagement photo session in Big Sur was nothing short of magical. The couple was celebrating Dani’s proposal to Kaelee that took place in their backyard after Dani’s original proposal plan with a trip to Asia was thwarted by Covid-19.

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. romantic sexy image includes two blonde women in love in white outfits on beach

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. romantic sexy image includes two blonde women in love in white outfits on beach

“Big Sur’s landscape often experiences moody, unpredictable weather,” says Heather K. Purdy, the couple’s photographer, “and the day of their session was no different. Light clouds gave way to heave fog, and then the end of the day… We were awarded with the most spectacular sunset and when we turned around, the Universe gave us the most amazing slash of rainbow! So, the ladies proudly kissed underneath a rainbow that magically appeared during blue hour and we all took is as a sign of blessing on their union! LOVE IS LOVE!”

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. pictured: Two women in love kissing at sunset on beach with rainbow in sky
Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. romantic sexy image includes two blonde women in love in white outfits on beach

HOW DID YOU MEET?
Danielle and I met through a mutual friend group. She will say her first memory of me was stumbling out of a bar laughing, but my first memory is meeting her at a gathering and we started talking about playing guitar. She was in a relationship at the time but a few weeks later I got a text from her saying she “had an opening” for a new friend and I invited her over. We were actually best friends for a while, even lived together for a year. Our romantic relationship didn’t blossom until I moved away to LA!

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. romantic sexy image includes two blonde women in love in white outfits on beach with LOVE ring

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. pictured: Two women in love having a picnic on the coast of California with a champagne toast and a guitar in the background

WHAT MAKES YOUR RELATIONSHIP SPECIAL?
We are literally ying and yang. Where she is strong, I am weak and vice versa. She is my favorite travel buddy, guitar jamming companion, and we read books to each other before bed. What I love most about us is what we create for our relationship. It’s never about what society expects or what’s normal, we create exactly what we want. We also are both extremely successful in our own careers and we support each other as independent strong women. What I really love is that we stand for each other to be our best self, to constantly put work into being a better partner and person.

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. romantic sexy image includes two blonde women in love in white outfits on beach

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. romantic sexy image includes two blonde women in love running hand in hand in white outfits on beach

HOW DID YOU KNOW YOUR PARTNER WAS THE ONE?
I wish I could say there was an ah-ha moment but it really was a creeping love that snuck up on us. We were both actually in relationships with men… and I knew that I wanted to wake up to her every morning forever. She was comfort, home, my best friend, sexy as hell, and always down for an adventure. There’s an unspoken understanding and acceptance we share that I’ve never shared with another partner.

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. pictured: Two women in love having a picnic on the coast of California
Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. pictured: Two women in love wearing boho dresses having a picnic on the coast of California with a guitar

TELL US ABOUT THE PROPOSAL(S)!
Oh, man. Danielle had an elaborate plan. We were going to Thailand and Vietnam for my 30th birthday with 15 of our closest friends and then Covid hit one week before we were set to take off. She ended up rallying a whole village; my family, friends, even my employers were involved. She created a Thailand-themed display in our backyard and was going to propose then, but we ended up drinking a little too much so her second plan was foiled. She popped the question the next morning in our favorite place (our bed), surrounded by all our fur babies. It was so overwhelming to see how many people contributed and in the end it was a special intimate moment we shared.

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. image description: engagement ring with emerald-cut diamonds in custom wooden box

TELL US ABOUT THE ENGAGEMENT RING(S)
My ring is truly unique. She designed it with her family friends at Guzzetta Jewelers in Roseville, Calif. The design is a “Tois et Mois” setting so it’s not a full circle. At each end it has two emerald cut diamonds (my favorite vintage cut). It’s such a beautiful representation of our relationship, strong and independent individuals bound together forever (in platinum!) not to mention she had my father who works with wood create a spectacular custom ring box complete with the Celtic knots under the lid and a gold coin on top, with his brand burned into the bottom. Everything about it is one of a kind and not traditional in any way and I think that’s the perfect symbol for our partnership.

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. pictured: Two women in love wearing boho dresses kissing on the coast of California with the ocean in the background

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT PLANNING YOUR WEDDING?
I’m most excited about creating something that will hopefully not resemble any other normal wedding. Everything down to the ceremony will be unique to us. We will consider it a success if all the people in our lives show up and get to know one another. There is nothing traditional about us and we want our day to reflect that. We want it to invite people to be fluid and mingle rather than be stuck to a table all night. We are hoping to make it a weekend affair rather than one night because that’s not enough time to really celebrate our love with the people we love.

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. pictured: Two women in love walking through flowers on the coast of California

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. pictured: Two women in love kissing on the coast of California

Magical engagement photo session in Big Sur. Photography by Heather K. Purdy. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and wedding vendor directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros. pictured: Two women in love kissing on the coast of California

VENDORS
Photography: Heather K. Purdy
Jeweler: Guzzetta Jewelers
Location: Big Sur, California

Magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Nature and simplicity came together at Aaron and Kaleb’s magical DIY wedding at Elkin Creek Vineyard. Surrounded by trees and nature,  Aaron and Kaleb walked down the aisle together. They said their vows under an arch woven together with branches. The wedding party celebrated under the rustic shelter of the winery’s pavilion. From scenery to details, their wedding showcased nature: DIY wreathes were centered on each table. Ethically sourced antler, ironwood, and titanium are preserved in their exquisite wedding bands from Staghead Designs. The party celebrated with wine crafted on-site, in the very vineyards surrounding them.

Although they live in a typically conservative area, the couple said, “We feel extremely lucky. With all of the resources available today, it was very easy to find LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.” Like many LGBTQ+ couples, however, they struggled with family relationships. They told Equally Wed: “Kaleb’s family was not very accepting, so they were not part of the planning process. It was only at the last minute that they decided to come at all, which was more difficult to deal with emotionally than we expected. We knew from the beginning they weren’t accepting, but planning a wedding without the support of family and knowing they don’t want to be there really hits the hardest.”

Yet their wedding was ultimately an act of pride, empowerment, and love. “There’s happiness in getting married,” they told us. “Being a trans, gay couple getting married really brings a whole new sense of pride that we’ve gotten to where we are now. You don’t expect it until you feel it.”

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

VENDORS

Photographer: Brooke Mayo Photography 
Jewelry: Staghead Designs
Wedding Ceremony Venue: Elkin Creek Vineyard
Day-of coordinator: Jennifer White with Elkin Creek Vineyard
Attendant Attire: Groomsmen wore suits from H&M and groomswomen wore dresses from Ivory Bridal
Officiant: Carrie Jeroslow with Elkin Creek Vineyard 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MAGICAL PRIDE

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MAGICAL PRIDE

In 2019, for the first time, Disneyland® Paris made Magical Pride an official signature event on their calendar. 

Magical Pride is a big step for the global company that has previously been hesitant to put its brand on anything LGBTQ+ related. The evening offered something for everyone, making it a suitable event for families, couples, friends or even solo travelers. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the event; where it came from, What to do and Whether it was worth it or just another Disney business venture.

In this ultimate guide to Magical Pride I’ll share:

  • The Backstory
  • Magical Pride Tickets
  • Getting to Magical Pride
  • What to do at Magical Pride
  • Empowering Event or Pink Pound Collection?

The Backstory

Since 1991, Disneyland parks have seen annual unofficially organized ‘gay days’, where the LGBTQ+ community meets up in the Disney parks in Anaheim, Orland, Tokyo, and Hong Kong together on an agreed date. And since 2014, an organization from the UK has arranged a similar event known as ‘Magical Pride’ at Disneyland Paris. 

Until now, Disney has allowed these events to happen, but never officially supported or facilitated them. 

However, this year, the first-ever Magical Pride event officially backed by The Walt Disney Company took place on June 1st in Walt Disney Studios Park, Paris. 

It was a big step for the global enterprise, who have previously been hesitant to take bold stances when it comes to LGBTQ+ events or representation. 

Magical Pride saw the Walt Disney Studios Park open exclusively to pride goers from 8 pm – 2 am and the event was attended by LGBTQ+ Disney fans and allies from across the globe. 

And based on the success and popularity, I can only hope it expands to other Disney parks in the near future!

 

Magical Pride Tickets

Greatdays.co.uk, the original organizers of the Magical Pride, offered a number of packages you could choose from.

All options included:

  • At least two nights of accommodation (option for 3).
  • A two-day park hopper passes.
  • A wristband for access to the pride celebrations at night.

You can choose from any of the Disney hotels, depending on your budget and 2019 packages started at £349 per person based on two people sharing (or £259 based on 4 people sharing). 

While this is likely one of the most expensive pride events of the year, when compared to a regular weekend at Disneyland Paris, it’s pretty reasonable. The price is the same as attending on a non-pride weekend, so you essentially get the wristband and pride access FREE. 

It is possible to just buy a ticket for Magical Pride if you’re staying in Paris and want to attend for the evening.

Getting To Magical Pride

Getting from Charles de Gaulle airport to Disneyland is simple in theory. In reality, depending on where you land in the airport and at what time, it can take around one hour.

Your options are as follows:

  • A 9-minute TGV train from Terminal 2 to the park entrance (€17).
  • If you’re staying in a Disney hotel (highly recommend for the convenience) then Disney run Magic Shuttle buses to and from the airport (€23).

Warning: if you land later than 9 pm at night, the TGV train and Magic Shuttle will have finished and your only option is a taxi for around €60.

 

What To Do At Magical Pride

Before we begin: There are two Disney Parks in Paris.

  • Disneyland (the main one with the castle)
  • Walt Disney Studios Park (the location for Magical Pride).

Dance at the Main Stage

The Main Stage in the Walt Disney Studios Park was the center of attention for the Magical Pride celebrations. Initially used by Natacha Rafalski, the President of Disneyland Paris, for an opening speech, it later transformed into a concert venue for performances by Boy George, Years and Years and the French DJ, Corine.

Two women wearing rainbow Mickey ears standing on either side of Mickey Mouse

Meet the characters

Magical Pride had some Disney favorites who ready to meet and celebrate with guests. Dotted around Walt Disney Studios Park were a number of characters including Buzz, Woody, Lilo & Stitch. And of course, the infamous Minnie and Mickey. 

Top tip: If this is what you’re coming for, get the VIP pass and skip the long lines to really make the most of your evening.

Enjoy some Pride-themed snacks

Disneyland did what Disneyland does best and offered themed snacks for the occasion. In addition to the regular fast food outlets and restaurants on offer, pop up stalls within the park were selling magical pride-themed doughnuts and cakes.

Ride some rollercoasters

It wouldn’t be Disneyland without the attractions. From 8 PM to 1:30 AM Disney operated the majority of the rides in the Walt Disney Studios Park. This included the massive indoor rollercoaster, Aerosmith, the iconic Hollywood Tower Of Terror, the surprisingly speedy Splash’s Coaster and some smaller favorites like the Magic Carpet and the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop. And the best bit of all – No wait times! (Ok, maybe some, but like… 15 minutes max!)

lesbian couple sitting side by side on a roller coaster at Disney

Watch The Parade

Disney’s first-ever Magical Pride kicked off in true Disney fashion, with an all-singing, all-dancing pride parade. The March of Diversity Parade is a pretty terrible name for what was actually a super fun pride march. Largely made up of Disney cast members in colorful T-shirts and carrying marvelous rainbow Mickey balloons, it also included some lovable Disney characters and the headline acts of the night. The entire parade was done to a repetitive, but catchy number that I’m still singing weeks after the event.

rainbow colored balloons spelling out the word Disney

Hop Over to Disney Illuminations

As hard as it may be to pull yourself away from the pride activities, I highly recommend leaving the Walt Disney Studios Park around 10:30 pm. At 11 pm each night the Disneyland Park puts on a spectacular show called Illuminations. Take advantage of your Park-Hopper tickets and head over for the 20-minute display of fireworks, lights, and music that will leave you feeling like you’re truly living in a Fairytale.

Have a Drink!

Unlike the Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park is licensed to sell alcohol and there was a colorful pop-up bar right by the Main Stage. Personally, I didn’t fancy doing loop the loop’s and corkscrews on a rollercoaster under the influence, but if you try it let me know how that goes.

Lip Sync your heart out

Now, I didn’t attend this one in person, but from what I’ve seen online, the Disney Magic Lip-Sync-Along and karaoke theatre experience is something I’ll be checking out next year. It was held in the Animagique Theatre opposite the main stage, and contestants could sign up between 8-8:30 pm on the night. The event ran in the form of a knockout competition with 3 finalists taking to the stage shortly before midnight. 

Get a Pride makeover

Wella had a popup stall on the night and was offering hair, nail & makeup makeovers as well as giving out fun colorful bandanas. The line was fairly long, so I didn’t check it out for myself, but it was an awesome addition for anyone looking to jazz up their pride look. 

Mickey ears constructed from balloons in the Magical Pride Parade

Indulge in the gift shop

Did you even go to Disneyland if you didn’t get sucked into the gift shop? Naturally, Disney was prepared with dedicated Magical Pride merchandise in both Downtown Disney and the Studios Park. Over the weekend, the rainbow Minnie ears become something of a rare gem as stocks ran low. It’s sadly not clear how much (if any) profits went to LGBTQ+ causes from the Magical Pride merchandise sales. However, the main Disney Store Rainbow Mickey collection does incorporate a donation to various European & American charities.

a woman wearing a black love is love shirt and rainbow Mickey ears smiles during Magical Pride

Empowering Event or Pink Pound Collection?

Every year, when June rolls around we see brands hop on the LGBTQ+ inclusion bandwagon for a month, slap a rainbow sticker on an existing product, collect in the pink pounds (or Dorothy Dollars) and call it a day. 

It is exhausting to see companies make a profit on LGBTQ+ targeted products, without doing the leg work for equality or inclusion all year round. This isn’t a new concept to discuss. However, it would be hard for me to talk about Magical Pride and promote all that it offers, without also addressing a critical question to be asked of any corporate involvement pride events:

Is Disney doing enough for the LGBTQ+ community to offset the undoubted profits they made by hosting a pride event?

On this, I have no correct answer. But I do have a few thoughts.

 

Disney’s Lack of Representation

I was skeptical, when I first heard about Magical Pride, given Disney’s lack of positive (or any) LGBTQ+ representation in their films and TV shows. In the past year, they have made some progress, with the Disney Channel show Andi Mack airing their first ever coming out scene. The conversation occurs between the lead character Andi and his best friend and was handled with taste and in a pleasantly understated way.

Lesbian couple holds a Pride flag in front of the Disney Paris castle at Magical Pride

But when it comes to film, Disney is failing miserably. They thrive on the rumors of Elsa being a lesbian, without ever making a statement of support or denial. And, we are yet to see if they’ll do anything about it or give her a girlfriend in the upcoming Frozen 2 movie. 

The existing LGBTQ+ characters Disney does have in their films are questionable too. After months of hype that Beauty & The Beast would feature a gay character in 2017, fans and the LGBTQ+ community were disappointed when it came in the form of sidekick LeFou. Even then, the film only featured subliminal messages and less than a second of handholding in the closing credits. Beyond that, you really have to stretch to find any queer representation. With the best, you can find is a glimpse of Oaken’s partner in the Sauna during Frozen, or a ‘potentially’ lesbian couple pushing a pram in Finding Dory.

 

Disneyland’s Inclusive Culture

Whilst they are largely failing the community in their films, Disney has always fostered an inclusive culture in its theme parks. Whether it be by making the parks and attractions accessible to all ages and abilities, or creating a judgment-free zone for children and adults alike to be their most authentic selves. Disneyland is where you can go to escape the real world and live in an inclusive, judgment-free fantasyland, even if just for a day. 

 

Pride as a Safe Space

As I mentioned at the top of the blog, unofficial, ‘Gay Days’ have been occurring in Disneyland Parks since 1991. This is a definite testament to the safe spaces the Disneyland empire has created.  In our ever-increasingly scary world, where hate crimes of homophobia, transphobia, and racism are on the rise, so too is the importance of protecting, and nurturing safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Sure, in an ideal world everywhere would be accepting, and we wouldn’t need to buy a ticket to a Pride event to access that. But sadly, that’s not the world we currently live in.

Lesbian Couple selfie wearing big smiles and rainbow Mickey ears

At the end of our weekend in Disneyland Paris, my girlfriend asked me what my highlight had been. I thought about the rollercoasters, meeting Mickey Mouse, the incredible weather and the yummy food we’d eaten. But none of it stopped being in a safe space for a whole two days, where we could be unapologetically out and proudly ourselves. 

I ran about in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with a pride flag, I kissed my girlfriend on ‘It’s A Small World’ and we leaned on each other’s shoulders while waiting in the long lines. We did all this without ever thinking twice about the possible dangers or negative consequences. I cannot say the same about everywhere we have visited. 

My highlight of Magical Pride was the ability to be visibly queer without fear of stares, hurtful words or worse. And to Disneyland, for that, I am thankful.

Disney as an Employer

It’s no good to promote LGBTQ+ events and inclusion to customers until you’ve sorted yourself in-house. And Disney has done just that. 

This year, The Walt Disney Company was awarded full marks in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index for the 13th year in a row and was once again recognized as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

According to their website the company has contributed “to diverse communities through service and donations to organizations including Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Trevor Project, GLSEN, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.” 

In the UK and Ireland, the Disney Pride Staff Network has raised over £18,000 for LGBTQ+ charities in the past few years and was nominated for best Network in British LGBT Awards (2016).

Disneyland Paris has had an Inclusion and Diversity manager since 2007 and the inclusive culture shone through when the hundreds of cast members marched, all singing, all dancing in the colorful opening parade of their first-ever Magical Pride. 

Conclusion … for now

It’s undeniable that Disney has miles to go when it comes to TV and film representation. I dream of a world where kids grow up to idolize a non-binary superhero or a trans-Disney princess. When the day comes (and I must believe it will), I will probably cry my Disney-geek heart out. 

But when it comes to fostering the critical spaces that we need as a community, where we can feel not only safe but celebrated from who we are, you really can’t blame or judge Disney for being the ones to provide that. 

Sure, I hope that there’s a future where these spaces aren’t needed. Pride events should always exist, but hopefully as a celebration and commemoration of the fights and sacrifices of those who got us to that point. But right now, in 2019, when I reflect on the two days of absolute bliss that I had, being out, proud and without a drop of fear that anything would happen to me because of it, Disney can have my money.

Queer woman with her back to us holding a Pride flag in front of the Disney Paris Castle

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Jenna Howieson
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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MAGICAL PRIDE – DOPES ON THE ROAD

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MAGICAL PRIDE - DOPES ON THE

 

In 2019, for the first time, Disneyland® Paris made Magical Pride an official signature event on their calendar. 

Magical Pride is a big step for the global company that has previously been hesitant to put its brand on anything LGBTQ+ related. The evening offered something for everyone, making it a suitable event for families, couples, friends or even solo travelers. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the event; where it came from, What to do and Whether it was worth it or just another Disney business venture.

In this ultimate guide to Magical Pride I’ll share:

  • The Backstory
  • Magical Pride Tickets
  • Getting to Magical Pride
  • What to do at Magical Pride
  • Empowering Event or Pink Pound Collection?

The Backstory

Since 1991, Disneyland parks have seen annual unofficially organized ‘gay days’, where the LGBTQ+ community meets up in the Disney parks in Anaheim, Orland, Tokyo, and Hong Kong together on an agreed date. And since 2014, an organization from the UK has arranged a similar event known as ‘Magical Pride’ at Disneyland Paris. 

Until now, Disney has allowed these events to happen, but never officially supported or facilitated them. 

However, this year, the first-ever Magical Pride event officially backed by The Walt Disney Company took place on June 1st in Walt Disney Studios Park, Paris. 

It was a big step for the global enterprise, who have previously been hesitant to take bold stances when it comes to LGBTQ+ events or representation. 

Magical Pride saw the Walt Disney Studios Park open exclusively to pride goers from 8 pm – 2 am and the event was attended by LGBTQ+ Disney fans and allies from across the globe. 

And based on the success and popularity, I can only hope it expands to other Disney parks in the near future!

 

Magical Pride Tickets

Greatdays.co.uk, the original organizers of the Magical Pride, offered a number of packages you could choose from.

All options included:

  • At least two nights of accommodation (option for 3).
  • A two-day park hopper passes.
  • A wristband for access to the pride celebrations at night.

You can choose from any of the Disney hotels, depending on your budget and 2019 packages started at £349 per person based on two people sharing (or £259 based on 4 people sharing). 

While this is likely one of the most expensive pride events of the year, when compared to a regular weekend at Disneyland Paris, it’s pretty reasonable. The price is the same as attending on a non-pride weekend, so you essentially get the wristband and pride access FREE. 

It is possible to just buy a ticket for Magical Pride if you’re staying in Paris and want to attend for the evening.

Getting To Magical Pride

Getting from Charles de Gaulle airport to Disneyland is simple in theory. In reality, depending on where you land in the airport and at what time, it can take around one hour.

Your options are as follows:

  • A 9-minute TGV train from Terminal 2 to the park entrance (€17).
  • If you’re staying in a Disney hotel (highly recommend for the convenience) then Disney run Magic Shuttle buses to and from the airport (€23).

Warning: if you land later than 9 pm at night, the TGV train and Magic Shuttle will have finished and your only option is a taxi for around €60.

 

What To Do At Magical Pride

Before we begin: There are two Disney Parks in Paris.

  • Disneyland (the main one with the castle)
  • Walt Disney Studios Park (the location for Magical Pride).

Dance at the Main Stage

The Main Stage in the Walt Disney Studios Park was the center of attention for the Magical Pride celebrations. Initially used by Natacha Rafalski, the President of Disneyland Paris, for an opening speech, it later transformed into a concert venue for performances by Boy George, Years and Years and the French DJ, Corine.

Two women wearing rainbow Mickey ears standing on either side of Mickey Mouse

Meet the characters

Magical Pride had some Disney favorites who ready to meet and celebrate with guests. Dotted around Walt Disney Studios Park were a number of characters including Buzz, Woody, Lilo & Stitch. And of course, the infamous Minnie and Mickey. 

Top tip: If this is what you’re coming for, get the VIP pass and skip the long lines to really make the most of your evening.

Enjoy some Pride-themed snacks

Disneyland did what Disneyland does best and offered themed snacks for the occasion. In addition to the regular fast food outlets and restaurants on offer, pop up stalls within the park were selling magical pride-themed doughnuts and cakes.

Ride some rollercoasters

It wouldn’t be Disneyland without the attractions. From 8 PM to 1:30 AM Disney operated the majority of the rides in the Walt Disney Studios Park. This included the massive indoor rollercoaster, Aerosmith, the iconic Hollywood Tower Of Terror, the surprisingly speedy Splash’s Coaster and some smaller favorites like the Magic Carpet and the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop. And the best bit of all – No wait times! (Ok, maybe some, but like… 15 minutes max!)

lesbian couple sitting side by side on a roller coaster at Disney

Watch The Parade

Disney’s first-ever Magical Pride kicked off in true Disney fashion, with an all-singing, all-dancing pride parade. The March of Diversity Parade is a pretty terrible name for what was actually a super fun pride march. Largely made up of Disney cast members in colorful T-shirts and carrying marvelous rainbow Mickey balloons, it also included some lovable Disney characters and the headline acts of the night. The entire parade was done to a repetitive, but catchy number that I’m still singing weeks after the event.

rainbow colored balloons spelling out the word Disney

Hop Over to Disney Illuminations

As hard as it may be to pull yourself away from the pride activities, I highly recommend leaving the Walt Disney Studios Park around 10:30 pm. At 11 pm each night the Disneyland Park puts on a spectacular show called Illuminations. Take advantage of your Park-Hopper tickets and head over for the 20-minute display of fireworks, lights, and music that will leave you feeling like you’re truly living in a Fairytale.

Have a Drink!

Unlike the Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park is licensed to sell alcohol and there was a colorful pop-up bar right by the Main Stage. Personally, I didn’t fancy doing loop the loop’s and corkscrews on a rollercoaster under the influence, but if you try it let me know how that goes.

Lip Sync your heart out

Now, I didn’t attend this one in person, but from what I’ve seen online, the Disney Magic Lip-Sync-Along and karaoke theatre experience is something I’ll be checking out next year. It was held in the Animagique Theatre opposite the main stage, and contestants could sign up between 8-8:30 pm on the night. The event ran in the form of a knockout competition with 3 finalists taking to the stage shortly before midnight. 

Get a Pride makeover

Wella had a popup stall on the night and was offering hair, nail & makeup makeovers as well as giving out fun colorful bandanas. The line was fairly long, so I didn’t check it out for myself, but it was an awesome addition for anyone looking to jazz up their pride look. 

Mickey ears constructed from balloons in the Magical Pride Parade

Indulge in the gift shop

Did you even go to Disneyland if you didn’t get sucked into the gift shop? Naturally, Disney was prepared with dedicated Magical Pride merchandise in both Downtown Disney and the Studios Park. Over the weekend, the rainbow Minnie ears become something of a rare gem as stocks ran low. It’s sadly not clear how much (if any) profits went to LGBTQ+ causes from the Magical Pride merchandise sales. However, the main Disney Store Rainbow Mickey collection does incorporate a donation to various European & American charities.

a woman wearing a black love is love shirt and rainbow Mickey ears smiles during Magical Pride

Empowering Event or Pink Pound Collection?

Every year, when June rolls around we see brands hop on the LGBTQ+ inclusion bandwagon for a month, slap a rainbow sticker on an existing product, collect in the pink pounds (or Dorothy Dollars) and call it a day. 

It is exhausting to see companies make a profit on LGBTQ+ targeted products, without doing the leg work for equality or inclusion all year round. This isn’t a new concept to discuss. However, it would be hard for me to talk about Magical Pride and promote all that it offers, without also addressing a critical question to be asked of any corporate involvement pride events:

Is Disney doing enough for the LGBTQ+ community to offset the undoubted profits they made by hosting a pride event?

On this, I have no correct answer. But I do have a few thoughts.

 

Disney’s Lack of Representation

I was skeptical, when I first heard about Magical Pride, given Disney’s lack of positive (or any) LGBTQ+ representation in their films and TV shows. In the past year, they have made some progress, with the Disney Channel show Andi Mack airing their first ever coming out scene. The conversation occurs between the lead character Andi and his best friend and was handled with taste and in a pleasantly understated way.

Lesbian couple holds a Pride flag in front of the Disney Paris castle at Magical Pride

But when it comes to film, Disney is failing miserably. They thrive on the rumors of Elsa being a lesbian, without ever making a statement of support or denial. And, we are yet to see if they’ll do anything about it or give her a girlfriend in the upcoming Frozen 2 movie. 

The existing LGBTQ+ characters Disney does have in their films are questionable too. After months of hype that Beauty & The Beast would feature a gay character in 2017, fans and the LGBTQ+ community were disappointed when it came in the form of sidekick LeFou. Even then, the film only featured subliminal messages and less than a second of handholding in the closing credits. Beyond that, you really have to stretch to find any queer representation. With the best, you can find is a glimpse of Oaken’s partner in the Sauna during Frozen, or a ‘potentially’ lesbian couple pushing a pram in Finding Dory.

 

Disneyland’s Inclusive Culture

Whilst they are largely failing the community in their films, Disney has always fostered an inclusive culture in its theme parks. Whether it be by making the parks and attractions accessible to all ages and abilities, or creating a judgment-free zone for children and adults alike to be their most authentic selves. Disneyland is where you can go to escape the real world and live in an inclusive, judgment-free fantasyland, even if just for a day. 

 

Pride as a Safe Space

As I mentioned at the top of the blog, unofficial, ‘Gay Days’ have been occurring in Disneyland Parks since 1991. This is a definite testament to the safe spaces the Disneyland empire has created.  In our ever-increasingly scary world, where hate crimes of homophobia, transphobia, and racism are on the rise, so too is the importance of protecting, and nurturing safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Sure, in an ideal world everywhere would be accepting, and we wouldn’t need to buy a ticket to a Pride event to access that. But sadly, that’s not the world we currently live in.

Lesbian Couple selfie wearing big smiles and rainbow Mickey ears

At the end of our weekend in Disneyland Paris, my girlfriend asked me what my highlight had been. I thought about the rollercoasters, meeting Mickey Mouse, the incredible weather and the yummy food we’d eaten. But none of it stopped being in a safe space for a whole two days, where we could be unapologetically out and proudly ourselves. 

I ran about in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with a pride flag, I kissed my girlfriend on ‘It’s A Small World’ and we leaned on each other’s shoulders while waiting in the long lines. We did all this without ever thinking twice about the possible dangers or negative consequences. I cannot say the same about everywhere we have visited. 

My highlight of Magical Pride was the ability to be visibly queer without fear of stares, hurtful words or worse. And to Disneyland, for that, I am thankful.

Disney as an Employer

It’s no good to promote LGBTQ+ events and inclusion to customers until you’ve sorted yourself in-house. And Disney has done just that. 

This year, The Walt Disney Company was awarded full marks in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index for the 13th year in a row and was once again recognized as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

According to their website the company has contributed “to diverse communities through service and donations to organizations including Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Trevor Project, GLSEN, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.” 

In the UK and Ireland, the Disney Pride Staff Network has raised over £18,000 for LGBTQ+ charities in the past few years and was nominated for best Network in British LGBT Awards (2016).

Disneyland Paris has had an Inclusion and Diversity manager since 2007 and the inclusive culture shone through when the hundreds of cast members marched, all singing, all dancing in the colorful opening parade of their first-ever Magical Pride. 

Conclusion … for now

It’s undeniable that Disney has miles to go when it comes to TV and film representation. I dream of a world where kids grow up to idolize a non-binary superhero or a trans-Disney princess. When the day comes (and I must believe it will), I will probably cry my Disney-geek heart out. 

But when it comes to fostering the critical spaces that we need as a community, where we can feel not only safe but celebrated from who we are, you really can’t blame or judge Disney for being the ones to provide that. 

Sure, I hope that there’s a future where these spaces aren’t needed. Pride events should always exist, but hopefully as a celebration and commemoration of the fights and sacrifices of those who got us to that point. But right now, in 2019, when I reflect on the two days of absolute bliss that I had, being out, proud and without a drop of fear that anything would happen to me because of it, Disney can have my money.

Queer woman with her back to us holding a Pride flag in front of the Disney Paris Castle